Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
  Cook County has the largest unified trial court system in the world, disposing over 6 million cases in 1990 alone.
   
     
     
     



Fun facts about the Palos preserves
Previous site of Argonne National Laboratory, but it's not radioactive

Thursday, August 13, 2009
Chicago Tribune
by Barbara Brotman

It's PAY-liss

At least that's how the locals pronounce it. If you don't want to be taken for an outsider, don't say "PAY-los."

"That's how I know you're from the North Side," said Michael Hart, trails coordinator for the forest preserve district.

Is Palos radioactive?

Not so you have to worry about it.

An area near Horse Collar Slough was the previous site of Argonne National Laboratory and its predecessor, the University of Chicago Metallurgical Laboratory. Between 1943 and 1954, scientists conducted research there on nuclear physics. Radioactive waste was buried nearby.

But the U.S. Department of Energy and the Illinois Department of Public Health have declared both locations safe. "We don't have any frogs with six eyes," reassured Richard Newhard, director of the district's department of resource management.

What's a slough?

"A slough is a body of water that someone in the forest preserve district -- probably Bob Mann -- decided should be named that," said John Elliott, the district's education director. (Roberts Mann was the district's curmudgeonly first conservation superintendent.)

The word is derived from an Old English term for swamp. But there is no ecological definition of a slough, Elliott said.

When you want to be alone

Visitation Prairie in Cap Sauers Holdings, the district's largest piece of land uninterrupted by roads, is said to be the most isolated spot in Cook County. "You cannot hear airplanes overhead; you cannot hear automobiles -- it's like you're in a wilderness area," Newhard said.

It is best reached from the Esker Trail, a narrow path over an esker, a winding ridge created by a glacier. Don't look for it on a forest preserve map; it is not an officially maintained trail.

To find it, park on Illinois Highway 83/111th Street just west of 104th Avenue at the sign denoting restoration work. Walk south into the woods, up a trail that was once a driveway for a gravel quarry. Look for a narrow path with steep sides sloping down either side -- that is the Esker Trail. Follow it to Visitation Prairie.

You're on your own now

The key: a color-coded map.

Between 2005 and 2006, General Supt. Steven Bylina Jr. had all trails in Cook County forest preserves marked with color-coded signs. Then the district produced a set of maps showing the color-marked trails. Between the two, you can find your way.

Pick up the maps at any of the district's nature centers, including the Little Red Schoolhouse, just west of 104th Avenue south of 95th Street, or at the district headquarters, 536 N. Harlem Ave., River Forest. Or find them at fpdcc.com under "maps," then "division maps."

For an easy-to-read map of the Palos Division alone (the northern part of Palos), get the one created by Chicago Area Mountain Bikers at tinyurl.com/5do3v4.

When you don't want to hike

Check out the view of Hidden Pond from the Hidden Pond Woods area at the parking lot on the west side of Kean Avenue just north of 95th Street, suggests Roger Keller, regional steward of the Palos Restoration Project. Or visit the overlook of Maple Lake, he said, on the westernmost end of 95th Street just before it turns south and into Wolf Road. The lake is pretty enough that the 2006 movie "The Lake House" was shot there.

What's with the funny names?

A number of sloughs "were given picturesque names similar to those encountered in the backwoods of Indiana and Kentucky -- folksy names that people talk about," Mann wrote in his 1965 booklet on the origin of names in the forest preserve.

Some, including Horse Collar, Tomahawk and Boomerang Sloughs, were named for their shapes, wrote Mann, who named many of the places. "However, Hogwash and Belly Deep [photo above] and Laughing Squaw were chosen just for the hell of it."

Mountain biking?

Palos' steep trails attract bikers from several states. Contact Chicago Area Mountain Bikers (cambr.org), a volunteer organization that builds and maintains single-track trails in the region. The group has worked extensively at Palos, in conjunction with the forest preserve district.

Best way to get to know Palos

Show up at a workday of the Palos Restoration Project. A few hours of clearing invasive plants with the local experts, and you'll not only learn about the most beautiful places, you'll also add to them. The next Palos workday is 9 a.m. Saturday at Hidden Pond, meeting at the parking lot at 94th Street and Kean Avenue. Tools and gloves provided. For details, contact Roger Keller at 708-598-2234 or rkeller361 @comcast.net. Workdays throughout the forest preserve district are listed at fpdccvolunteers.org.


Recent Headlines

Editorial: A Chicago revival: The Lazarus of Harrison Street
Friday, June 15, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Growing food, community
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Help Squad: Consumers can file lawsuits and other legal documents online —some free via an online fee waiver
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Residents speak out as Wilmette Board introduces minimum wage and sick time ordinances
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Tribune

County's bid to avoid attorney fees for paraplegic detainee backfires
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Forest Preserves Show Off To Visitors At Daley Plaza
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WBBW News Radio

Peek Inside the Old Cook County Hospital, Vacant for 16 Years
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
NBC Chicago

After 16 years, renovation underway at old Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
WGN Television

Officials break ground on $1 billion overhaul of long-vacant Cook County Hospital
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
Chicago Tribune

George Leighton, legendary Chicago judge and courthouse namesake, dies at 105
Thursday, June 07, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

George Leighton, Chicago judge for whom criminal courthouse is named, dies at 105
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County allows video gambling in unincorporated areas
Wednesday, June 06, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Backpage.com lawsuit against Cook County sheriff dismissed
Saturday, June 02, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Dorothy Brown’s office to get federal monitor for hiring practices
Friday, June 01, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Coyote puppies tagged, health work-ups conducted in the Forest Preserves of Cook County
Thursday, May 31, 2018
Special to suffredin.org

EDITORIAL: Justice delayed 16 months — until a reporter starts nosing around
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Chicago Sun-Times

Making Baby Walleye in Cook County
Wednesday, May 30, 2018
WTTW Chicago Tonight

MISSING FILES IN CLERK’S OFFICE, DELAYED JUSTICE FOR INMATES
Tuesday, May 29, 2018
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin

Cook County Hospital redevelopment nears starting line, with $135 million in financing
Sunday, May 27, 2018
Chicago Tribune

Cook County medical examiner reviewing more than 200 cases handled by fired pathologist
Friday, May 25, 2018
Chicago Tribune

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP